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Old 08-23-2013, 08:09 PM
turkeykirk turkeykirk is online now
 
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Default Baker tree stand memories

Back when I first started deer hunting in the early 70's, most people who hunted from trees usually just climbed them and sat on a limb (very uncomfortable !!) or hauled a ton of lumber to the woods and built their stand before the season (way more comfortable, but not very mobile). When the Baker climbing stand came on the market, I just knew I would be in deer hunting heaven if I had one. So I went out and got me one of the oversize models. Little did I know that I would be in deer hunting h-ll when I started using it! The stand was well built and fit the need for a portable stand. But it caused a lot of choice words in the deer woods which probably didn't help my deer hunting any.
First thing I notice when using it was where to set the bracket on the stand where it would be level when I climbed to the height in the tree I was hunting out of. I learned real fast that a tree is a hard thing to judge the diameter of when you are 20 feet below on the ground. Take my word for it, there is nothing fun about spending time in a tree stand constantly sliding forward. If the stand leaned back too much you had to worry about it sliding down the tree.
Secondly, you had to either stand up or sit down on the platform.When standing you had to worry about about falling out since this was in the days before safety harnesses. If you chose to sit down (which I did, except in bow season), your legs would eventually get numb from sitting on the platform with them dangling in the air unsupported. Finally half way fixed the leg numbness by putting some foot straps for my feet to rest on.
Third, you had to make sure your feet were hooked securely in the climbing straps so the stand wouldn't slide off your feet and down the tree, leaving you hanging like a squirrel on the tree with your stand 20 feet down on the ground! I walked up on a buddy of mine one day hanging in a tree with his stand on the ground below him. Got a good laugh out of it though he didn't think it was too funny!
Fourth, I didn't have the hand climber (too cheap even then to buy one) so I had to use the bear hug method of tree climbing. Talking about fun! There is nothing like climbing up a tree 25-30 feet by hugging the tree, pull yourself up, stand up straight and hug the tree, pull yourself up and hug the tree, doing this over and over until you get to the level you want to hunt at. This process looks kind-of-like an inch worm climbing a stick. Also, I found out quick you didn't want to hug climb the tree in a tee shirt. You always skinned your arms up and filled your shirt up with ants and bark. I learned to wear a heavy long sleeve shirt or jacket when climbing no matter how hot it was!
It's been over 40 years since I hunted with that type of stand and wouldn't even think of using one today. Back then, I was young and having fun deer hunting. Anyone else have any similar experiences?
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:14 PM
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I bet there are a lot of people reading this that never had the pleasure.
I killed many deer from the Baker Suicide Climbers. It was a sight to see when we all compared our skinned & bruised chests & arms.
You could always tell when your buddy was having a bad day....nothing like the sound of one of those as it left you suspended in mid air as it clattered down the tree..
Still have mine around somewhere.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:27 PM
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I was hunting out of one in my younger days, did think to tie a rope from the seat part to the foot climber. The problem was, I didn't think to tie it short and you guessed it..... down the tree it went about 10'. From the noise of this thing bouncing off the tree, me cussing, the the commotion of both as I tried to work it back up the tree so I could get down. Did not hunt again from a climbing stand for years until I finally got a Warren and Sweat Bow Hunter model. Killed a lot of deer out of that one, retired it have have been spoiled by the Summit Viper for years now.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:12 PM
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is there anyone who ever climbed with a baker stand that DIDN'T wind up sliding down the tree while hugging it at least once? It only took me once to quit using it, I didn't even cuss when it was stolen out of the back of my truck. I was tempted to just keep a check on the emergency room at the hospital to find the thief...........
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:22 PM
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I remember very well, and encountered most of whats been said. I think I have scars on my arms and chest from those days.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:33 PM
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My neighbor gave me a Baker stand when I was a kid, I thought that was the nicest thing... little did I know.

Did the hug the tree method until my dad bought me a handclimber. Did the 20ft up tree hug/slide down because the danged thing had slide down the tree so many times I finally stopped using it as a climber and just sort of attached it to a tree at ground level as a seat.

Later got a TomCat I (just sold it, as a matter of fact) and never looked back. I forget what I did with the Baker, probably gave it to some other unsuspecting victim.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:42 PM
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I remember wishing I had one. I was so excited to get my Warren & Sweat Woodsman. I later upgraded with the addition of an Amacker hand climber seat. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way to take my gloves off to adjust the blade so I wouldn't have to hug the tree back down and hope I found the nut.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:14 PM
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You guys were nuts. A summit scares me.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:21 PM
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When i was a kid my dad had an old baker and sometimes i would use it without him knowing it. Had he known i was in that death trap he woulda wore me out. After getting all skinned up doing the tree hug thing which was much worse coming down than going up i found the perfect setup. I had a small pine that climed good and had another tree i think it was actually a big privit hedge beside it. I could climb up 10 feet or so and when ready to come down i would let my gun down and grab the privit hedge and ride its bend to the ground then take a long stick and poke the baker and it would fall like a brick. That spot was perfect except it had no deer not even a track.lol
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:32 PM
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About 1983 or so, i left a 15 foot long trail of skin and blood down the sides of a pine as i dropped slightly slower than the speed of sound after the bark broke under the teeth.
Nothing worse than being strapped into a baker after a trip to the bottom of a tree with sprained ankles and bleeding profusely from your hairless, skinless, arms.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:35 PM
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I killed a 5 pointer out of my dad's the first time I ever hunted out of it. I was 13-14 at the time. I thought I had moved from a pinto to a Lincoln when the first Tomcat 2 came out and I got one.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:19 AM
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yep been there done that,,ahhh the good ol' days!!
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:26 AM
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Never Climb A Wet Pine In One !! Never forget sliding about 25 feet down the tree in a clear cut on national forest !! I soiled my britches !!
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:43 AM
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Had to hug a tree when the bottom fell out from 20ft up. One of the scariest experiences in the woods.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:57 AM
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This is so funny. I have done every thing that is mentioned. A few months ago I happen to see one at a yard sale, and no I didn't buy it. It did bring back alot of memories. Thanks of sharing.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:58 AM
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The original Baker was my first climbing tree stand. Bear hugging the tree was a pain and only for the young. Later, I traded something for a hand climber and it was better, but still a real pain to use. I had a great idea and made a hinged hanging seat and mounted it on the hand climber frame. It worked very well and was much easier (and safer) to climb up/down with. Some time later the Baker company came out with their own version of a seat climber. I should have patented my idea. Oh well.

Dave
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:02 AM
roscoe54 roscoe54 is offline
 
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The seat was so rough on your butt I stop using it. Instead I would hug the tree and pull my self up, and stand up for hours. Some things you don't forget that was one of them.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:22 AM
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Duck hunters like to use them for dog stands now. I think my dad sold his at a yard sale for $10.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:12 AM
turkeykirk turkeykirk is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtr3333 View Post
I remember wishing I had one. I was so excited to get my Warren & Sweat Woodsman. I later upgraded with the addition of an Amacker hand climber seat. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way to take my gloves off to adjust the blade so I wouldn't have to hug the tree back down and hope I found the nut.
I forgot about loosing the wing nuts. Nothing like crawling around around on your hands and knees, early in the morning darkness, looking for the wing nut you just lost in the leaves and pine straw! Learned to carry a few extra duck taped to the stand.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:24 AM
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Yep, I painted my wingnuts fluorescent orange so I could find them.
And since this has been more than 20-25 years ago can you imagine using one now.
How did we ever go from the sitting position to standing on that itty bitty platform 20-30 feet up....if we were lucky to make it that high.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarsey View Post
Yep, I painted my wingnuts fluorescent orange so I could find them.
And since this has been more than 20-25 years ago can you imagine using one now.
How did we ever go from the sitting position to standing on that itty bitty platform 20-30 feet up....if we were lucky to make it that high.
Yea, that was an exciting event also. I'm 6'4'' tall (one of the reasons I had the oversize Baker stand) and it was always interesting trying to sit down. I usually held on real tight, knelt down on one knee and an spun around while sitting down. Almost as much fun as trying to stand back up! I'm suprised more people didn't get hurt using this type of stand.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:46 AM
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All the above I finally just used mine as a chair about 3 ft off ground
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:56 AM
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the lost wingnut. the soar belly muscles the next day. i remember all that. dad somehow allowed me to start hauling one of his bakers when i was 14. i would climb the tree then haul up (rope) a dove stool and sit on it. the worst thing ever. youre sitting there minding your own business when out of nowhere the whole shooting match just starts riding down the tree like a trap door. what a bunch of idiots we were! does anybody remember the "fox squirrel"? it was like a baker but had a wide steel band that went around the tree instead of angle iron. had those too. and who did a homemade carpet job on there baker as if that was really gonna help it? this is too funny
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:13 AM
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Glad those days are over, never climbed over 14ft but i'll never forget the day i slid down a pine tree with my chin all skinned up and bark embedded in my fingers, it was so cold i just let the bark rot instead of digging it out, its a wonder it was not a lot more fatalities using them stands as compared to now.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:17 AM
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^probably was. lot less news media.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:19 AM
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I remember every one of these incidents. When I bought my Baker, didn't know about a hand climber so I did the hug and slide thing until I figured out how to build my own hand climber. Then I figured out how to transform the hand climber into a seat. Used that stand for 20+ years.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:26 AM
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I got the hand climber with mine, and my foot platform had a
fold out seat after you got to hunting height.....
Heavy, hard to climb uncomfortable are all the memories I have
of the old Bakers, but they were state of the art in the 80s....
I quickly learned to use bungie cords to securely attach the
blasted stand to the tree or it WOULD slide down the tree without
a seconds notice if you took your weight off it......
Sold mine after 2 seasons and bought a Warren and Sweat "special",
which I still have today and hunt out of on occasion....Still bungie ALL
my climbers to the tree out of habit....
Just like the little bit of added security knowing the stand ain't
going anywhere till I un hook it !!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited by 7Mag Hunter; 08-24-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:45 PM
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Carpet on the platform was a must if you planed on leaving your baker in the woods over night. A little frost on the plywood and you were sailing off into the darkness. Those things got slick in the winter. Theres no way i would try to use a stand like that now, I think we were all just to dumb to die back then.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:13 PM
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I still have the baker I got when I was 15 and I am 53. I learned at 15 to modify it so it will bite the tree not me. I drilled out the center folding pivot pins on both sides and removed the shorter of the two legs then dropped the rails down and bolted the leg (longest of the original pivot legs ) to the platform rails where the shorter leg was originally attached. This changed the angle of the rails and it bites the tree and will not slide or slip down a tree as before, I can climb slick cypress trees and it will not slip. Yes I still have to hug the tree but I also bolted a dove stool to it and cut the other two legs of the stool off so it leans against the tree. I still use it on occasions and enjoy every minute of it. I added ropes to strap it to my back to pack it in and out of the woods. If baker would have made these mods back in their days they would probably still be in business today. But you got to hand it to them for opening the door to a new and portable way to hunt which led to all of the high tech stands on the market today. Thank you baker tree stand company for all the memories and for being the pioneer of this sport.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco611 View Post
I still have the baker I got when I was 15 and I am 53. I learned at 15 to modify it so it will bite the tree not me. I drilled out the center folding pivot pins on both sides and removed the shorter of the two legs then dropped the rails down and bolted the leg (longest of the original pivot legs ) to the platform rails where the shorter leg was originally attached. This changed the angle of the rails and it bites the tree and will not slide or slip down a tree as before, I can climb slick cypress trees and it will not slip. Yes I still have to hug the tree but I also bolted a dove stool to it and cut the other two legs of the stool off so it leans against the tree. I still use it on occasions and enjoy every minute of it. I added ropes to strap it to my back to pack it in and out of the woods. If baker would have made these mods back in their days they would probably still be in business today. But you got to hand it to them for opening the door to a new and portable way to hunt which led to all of the high tech stands on the market today. Thank you baker tree stand company for all the memories and for being the pioneer of this sport.


Your post reminded me...I did change the L bracket that rested the V against the tree with a 3/8"x 3" piece of
semi-sharpened steel for a tree blade....
Kinda like on the Warren and Sweat climbers.....Helped some, but those stands were very unstable at best....
Sounds like your modification was a smart one.......
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:22 PM
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I still have my old Baker that I paid less than $20 dollars for new. Funny thing about those old days with the Baker, I never had or even heard of a safety strap.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:26 PM
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Still have my ol Baker and man what memories! Killed a bunch of deer out of it but am now amazed that I didn't get killed. I couldn't imagine trying to go from standing to sitting or vice versa in that thing now. And climbing? Oh heck no.
Dad made us his "rope a dope" climbing/dragging straps. Took a 20 foot or so nylon strap, looped and had a sawed off broom stick/mop handle on one end. About every 18 inches or so he had a knot. You run the strap around the tree as far you can reach, run the handle thru a loop and do a chin up. Repeat... sure better than bear hugging the tree. Then when you killed your deer and field dressed it you put them front legs up behind the ears, loop your rope a dope around the neck and legs, grab the handle and go to dragging.
I will hang onto my Baker but I won't be hanging my Baker on a tree anytime soon.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeykirk View Post
I forgot about loosing the wing nuts. Nothing like crawling around around on your hands and knees, early in the morning darkness, looking for the wing nut you just lost in the leaves and pine straw! Learned to carry a few extra duck taped to the stand.
Turning around was an adventure too.
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:47 PM
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Default Baker Stands

I am in the minority here. I never had a bit of trouble with my Baker stands. I do remember being stupid at first and trying to hug the tree but got past that real quick and bought the hand climber. Then Baker offered the modification to make it a seat climber and I bought that.

I bought the Slim Jim for bow hunting and it had a that folding seat on it that I thought worked pretty good. I remember when they came out with the Slim Jim, it came with a safety belt.

I made a modification to mine for a foot rest by drilling two holes toward the front edge of the platform and running nylon rope through the holes and into a piece of 1"x2" wood. It made sitting a lot more comfortable.

I recall taking my original Baker to the factory in Valdosta while up that way on business and meeting Jim Baker. He was a real decent guy and they refurbed it in about a half hour for free.

I heard the company folded because they sold so many stands that they couldn't get insurance because there were so many in the market place.

I don't know what happened to Jim Baker, but he was definitely an innovator.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:01 PM
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did all of the loosing skin but one time slipped about 4ft just enough to take my beard and chin skin off //so the nexyt year hunted out of a buddys home made ladder stand made of a ladder and plywood /a 4 pointer walked up as i stood up i went right thru the cheap wet plywood and counted the steps on the way down /limpped back to the truck /but after 2 weeks was back at it again /old saying you work hard you play hard was true back then /no its ground blinds and to tell ya the truth i see more deer sitting on the ground than i ever did back then
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:22 PM
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I have a mint condition Baker with a hand climber in my basement. Even has the deluxe back pack straps on the bottom of the platform.

For the right price, it can be yours. No kidding. Think of the fun reliving the good ole days. Get out your WW2 camo, your 30-30, disco music cassettes..... hunting season is right around the corner.

Before I sell to the highest bidder, must provide proof of insurance with me being named as an additional insured, sign a general liability release, a hold harmless waiver and provide an affidavit that you are of sound mind and body.

Bidding is open!
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:41 PM
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My parents gave me one in 1980, I still have it hanging in my shop.

I did the tree hug/slide thing too.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckhead View Post
I have a mint condition Baker with a hand climber in my basement. Even has the deluxe back pack straps on the bottom of the platform.

For the right price, it can be yours. No kidding. Think of the fun reliving the good ole days. Get out your WW2 camo, your 30-30, disco music cassettes..... hunting season is right around the corner.

Before I sell to the highest bidder, must provide proof of insurance with me being named as an additional insured, sign a general liability release, a hold harmless waiver and provide an affidavit that you are of sound mind and body.

Bidding is open!

I will open the bid at $0.50.... yep 50 cents...
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:03 PM
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Used the Baker Mighty Mite for about 10 years starting in the 70's and still have it somewhere.

I replaced the board with a longer one with carpet on it and built a folding seat that would lean against the tree and flip out flat for climbing.

Never owned a hand climber. Never did the "tree slide" thing but had friends that did.

Killed a bunch of deer out of that thing and never felt unsafe or uncomfortable with my homemade seat.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:29 PM
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My father just quit using his about 4 years ago and he is 61. He got him a summit open shot and don't like it. He is also a little crazy.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:33 AM
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Baker ! I had one and it didn't take me long to figure out how dangerous it was. Got rid of it and bought me a Amaker Deer Thief.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:03 AM
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OK - circa 1978. Climbed prolly 25 feet up a pine in the OCF - right near where Lake Oconee is now. Shot my first deer (a doe) and went to climb down. The platform fell all the way to the bottom of the tree and and the hand climber banged my head on the way down as I donated my skin to the tree bear hugging it for dear life. Now that's deer hunting!
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:12 AM
bronco611 bronco611 is offline
 
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Location: Sylvester,Georgia
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Just think about it, we are the last of a dieing breed. I never felt uncomfortable in my baker with the mods I made to it. The fold out dove stool I added to mine also flipped out so that you could climb up and down and I never had a safety strap but always tied myself off to the tree with a rope and left just enough slack in it to be able to stand up from the stool. After reaching your desired height you tie off and used your foot to hook the seat lift it to you carefully step over it and sit down. I still use mine and will demonstrate that these stands are actually safe if you use them with the mods I made. What I love the most is the weight and openness of this stand for bow hunting. I am a good sized fellow but I am not 250 lbs and 6 foot tall either neither am I sporting a beer keg for a gut which makes climbing easier. LOL. Funny thing is that I used to leave it hooked to a tree on state wmas and never had anyone mess with it and as you know there is no way to really lock one of these great innovations to a tree. I guess they were either afraid of it or afraid of anyone who still uses one of these things. As Hank Jr stated " I'm a DINOSAUR!!!"
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:35 AM
LONGTOM LONGTOM is offline
 
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gives new meaning to the word, TREEHUGGER !
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  #45  
Old 08-25-2013, 10:42 AM
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XIronheadX XIronheadX is offline
 
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Lol. I loved my ole Baker. There was no foot climber or hand climber. You HUGGED the tree. I always folded the seat forward and used it for a foot rest while sitting on the stand. But that was on the few occasions I was seated. Most of my days were spent standing in it 30 feet up a pine tree about 10 or 12 inches in diameter, swaying 5 feet to the left and right, while trying to hold steady on a deer. When I shot my first deer at 15, I met my Dad coming up the road with no buttons on his shirt. He didn't deer hunt and he was so mad about the stand coming off his feet that he didn't care too much about my first deer. Priceless. The best memories was my 64 year old grandfather at the time, easing out of his and shimmy'n down the tree to stalk a deer out of range of his 30-30. Then we would all meet up and try to figure out how to get the stand down that was 15 feet up in the tree.
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  #46  
Old 08-25-2013, 12:16 PM
MIKE RAINEY MIKE RAINEY is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NICHOLSON GA
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Left mine on a tree years ago I hope someone found it! I can remember how much my stomach muscles hurt on Mondays after climbing with it all weekend! I love ladder stands, and lock ons now!
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  #47  
Old 08-25-2013, 12:48 PM
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Kawaliga Kawaliga is offline
 
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Location: In the woods
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Ya'll remember that it was called the "Profane tree stand". Easy to figure out why.
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  #48  
Old 08-25-2013, 01:40 PM
1022 1022 is offline
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Had a mighty mite since the 60's installed a set of straps for carrying and a folding stool with a pocket for gear to set on.I'm going on 70 and still use it some ,still hugging and grunting.
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:02 PM
Toonigh Toonigh is offline
 
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I was 12 years old and hunting in Greene County. I slid down what seemed like 50 feet but was probably only 12 or 14. Skinned my arm and chest really bad. The next morning I was to sore to get out of bed. So my dad said he was going to the woods and left me snoozing. We all slept in a converted barn except a few had campers. So some of my co-hunters decided to pour a half full ice cold cooler on me while I was asleep. The "camper" guys. I guess they didn't want me to sleep after all. So everybody got a huge laugh out of that. Said "That will teach you to try to sleep in". Well the next weekend I'm sitting in my stand and guess what came walking up "Ole Mr. Skunk". I popped him and tied a rope around his neck. I drug it back to camp and put it under the bed in the camper. They didn't laugh as much as the weekend before but everybody else sure did. That is my most memorable moment with my Baker stand. That I still have today.
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  #50  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:20 PM
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Bucky T Bucky T is offline
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Location: Newborn
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If you even thought about putting the slightest bit of upward pressure on those things, they'd fly down the tree like a anchor sinking to the bottom of a lake!!!

Mine was an "advanced" version. It had a top part with a piece of 1" plyboard cut out for the seat. It was called a "TreeMaster" made in Guntersville, Alabama.

It wasn't camoflage and dad and I had a lot of fun spray painting them and stencliling them with pine needles and leaves. Use to give a fresh paint job every few years or so.

Still have it. Hanging up in my garage. My dad bought us both one in 1990. Last deer I shot out of it was a little doe during bow season in 04. I retired it after that season.

Killed a lot of deer out of that thing.
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